• Article

Multimorbidity, mental illness, and quality of care Preventable hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries

Background. Individuals with multimorbidity are vulnerable to poor quality of care due to issues related to care coordination. Ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations (ACSHs) are widely accepted quality indicators because they can be avoided by timely, appropriate, and high-quality outpatient care. Objective. To examine the association between multimorbidity, mental illness, and ACSH. Study Design. We used a longitudinal panel design with data from multiple years (2000–2005) of Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Individuals were categorized into three groups: (1) multimorbidity with mental illness (MM/MI); (2) MM/no MI; (3) no MM. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to analyze the association between multimorbidity and ACSH. Results. Any ACSH rates varied from 10.8% in MM/MI group to 8.8% in MM/No MI group. Likelihood of any ACSH was higher among beneficiaries with MM/MI (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI = 1.14, 2.30) and MM (AOR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.12, 2.11) compared to beneficiaries without multimorbidity. There was no statistically significant difference in likelihood of ACSH between MM/MI and MM/No MI groups. Conclusion. Multimorbidity (with or without MI) had an independent and significant association with any ACSH. However, presence of mental illness alone was not associated with poor quality of care as measured by ACSH.


Ajmera, M., Wilkins, T., & Findley, P. (2012). Multimorbidity, mental illness, and quality of care: Preventable hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries. International Journal of Family Medicine, 2012, [823294]. DOI: 10.1155/2012/823294

DOI Links